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Ascent to Mount Conness-To the ridge on 2016-10-01

Climber: Amy Huang

Others in Party:Dennis Loya
Wayne Vollaire
Rick Gillock
Ethan Jones
Sergio Romero
Date:Saturday, October 1, 2016
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Mount Conness - To the ridge
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:11050 ft / 3368 m
    Remaining Elevation:1540 ft / 469 m (100% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

The trip was led by Dennis Loya and co-led by Wayne Vollaire for Dennis's I-provisional day-hike. We camped at Saddlebag Lake which required a high clearance vehicle to get there. It included bathrooms with toilet paper and water pumps. Our plan was to go up the Class 2 route of Mt. Conness and follow the 12,000 ft contour line to the peak. We left at 8AM to commence the hike, and unfortunately Dennis had thought that it was 7 miles round-trip but it was actually longer. By 12:30PM, four of us including myself had reached the top of the ridge at about 11,050 ft doing Class 2 scrambling. Dennis's 13 year old step-son and the co-leader Wayne were slower, and were not within line of sight. Wayne also had a bad foot.

Dennis decided that by the time we got to the peak which was an estimated 3 miles more, we would be past our turn-around time of 2PM. He also believed that Wayne and his step-son would not be able to make it. It was important that Wayne was with us because Dennis was being evaluated for his I-provisional. Dennis also had to stop many times to look at the map as he seemed unsure where we were going. Since it was windy on the ridge, Dennis decided that he wanted to turn back and not attempt the peak. I was disappointed and asked others if they wanted to sign out and go to the peak, but they did not feel confident with their navigational skills.

I had planned the next day to hike White Mountain, a little about 12,000 ft near Mt. Conness with another member of the group. However, the other member decided at 2AM that he did not like the winds howling, and did not feel like going so I did not go.

If there was a lesson to be learned, we should have had an alpine start such as 5AM or 6AM for starting such a hike. Also, it is important for the participants to know the route well, and be prepared for some class 2 scrambling. I thoroughly enjoyed the scrambling and wish that we could have made it.

The time of year should be done in Late July to early September, not the first week of October unless we were having an Indian summer.
Summary Total Data
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
    Weather:Cold, Very Windy, Partly Cloudy



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